Letter to the Editor
Re: The hypersexualization of queer women in the media
Op-Ed» March 5, 2020
I was disappointed by the article on queer women in the media that was part of the International Women’s Day supplement. It is not because the writer holds a different opinion than me (I am not in complete disagreement with all her ideas), but because not once did the author of the article support her claims with examples. The author moved from one generalized statement to the next about how queer women are highly sexualized to grab viewers’ attention in advertisements, television, and porn.
While I could think of one film in which a lesbian relationship is highly sexualized by a male director, Blue is the Warmest Colour, I could not think of other portrayals that fit into the author’s characterization, and wondered what examples she had in her mind as she wrote the article. I wondered what she thought of the portrayal of Annalise Keating’s bisexuality in How to Get Away with Murder. Has she seen Orphan Black, in which the main queer relationship develops from shared respect between two women in the scientific field, not just from sex? Has she seen the eighth season of Murdoch Mysteries, in which Dr. Emily Grace falls in love with a woman because of mutual admiration and dedication to the cause of women’s equality, their relationship building up over several episodes to their first passionate kiss? This last example subverts the author’s claim that bisexual women’s relationships with other women are usually temporary, since her previous relationships with men are the ones that don’t last.
These are but a few examples that came to mind as I was reading the article. Without the author’s own examples, all I could refer to were examples I was familiar with that went against her argument.
— Katharine Mussellam
Second-year MA, Cinema & Media Studies